The OC star Mischa Barton says she left the show because she felt "unprotected"

·2-min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Mischa Barton has opened up about her exit from The OC.

The actress played Marissa Cooper in the hit teen show from 2003 to 2006. In season three, Marissa was killed off in a fire.

Finally addressing her shocking exit and when she heard of the decision that Marissa would be leaving, Mischa described it as "a bit complicated".

Photo credit: Fox
Photo credit: Fox

"It started pretty early on because it had a lot to do with them adding Rachel [Bilson] in last minute as, after the first season, a series regular and evening out everybody's pay – and sort of general bullying from some of the men on set that kind of felt really shitty," she told E!

"But, you know, I also loved the show and had to build up my own walls and ways of getting around dealing with that and the fame that was thrust specifically at me.

"Just dealing with like the amount of invasion I was having in my personal life, I just felt very unprotected, I guess is the best way to put it."

Mischa continued: "I was working so hard, the longest hours probably out of all the characters.

Photo credit: Amy Sussman - Getty Images
Photo credit: Amy Sussman - Getty Images

"It wasn't an easy character for me to play because it wasn't me, which is why I think people liked it or thought Marissa was funny and latched on to her.

"They felt like this is entertaining because she's all over the place and who is this girl? It's like because this New York girl was trying to play this ditzy LA rich kid, you know?

"So halfway through season two I would say, when we started doubling up on episodes and shooting [became] so much harder, and again a lot of that was too much for me.

"I didn't know where the character was going. I look back on it pretty fondly, but there's stuff I think people did wrong and the way they handled it. So, I just didn't feel I could keep going."

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

The 35-year-old added why she didn't speak out sooner, saying: "I've always felt ashamed in a way to really talk about what went on behind the scenes because I've always been a very private person and very aware of people's feelings.

"Now that we're living in this era where we do speak out about our experiences and women do come clean about what was really going on behind the scenes and how they were treated, it's a slightly different thing."

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